Beautiful luxury vinyl floor

What to Know About Luxury Vinyl Wear Layer

Written by: BuildDirect



Time to read 3 min

Luxury vinyl flooring is incredibly durable, easy to care for and quite cost-effective compared to some other popular materials like hardwood and stone. Available in a ton of different styles today, you can find luxury vinyl plank flooring that looks like natural wood, stone, ceramic and an assortment of other top choices.

When choosing vinyl flooring for your home or commercial space, the wear layer issue is bound to pop up before long. There’s a good chance you’ve never heard of a luxury vinyl wear layer before in your life though!

Use this guide to learn more about the benefits of the luxury vinyl wear layer, as well as how to choose the proper flooring for your building or renovation project. Picking the perfect vinyl flooring option might seem confusing now, but the process can be truly painless once you understand the basics.

What is the Luxury Vinyl Wear Layer?

The term luxury vinyl wear layer can be more than a little confusing for shoppers. The wear layer is simply an extra layer of protection placed between the printed design of your vinyl plank or tile flooring material and the protective finish that goes on the very top.

What the luxury vinyl wear layer does is protect your floors from scratching and denting, keeping them looking their best for a lot longer. You’ll also have to replace fewer planks or tiles as your flooring ages.

This is the true difference between luxury vinyl flooring and standard composite vinyl. With composite vinyl flooring, you don’t get this extra level of protection.

Understanding Luxury Vinyl Wear Layer Measurements

Luxury vinyl wear layers are measured via mil, which is one-thousandth of an inch. Don’t mistake mil for millimeters. In general, the thicker the wear layer and the higher the mil measurement the more durable your flooring material will be.

Of course, with more durability often comes more cost. You’ll need to balance the initial cost versus your need for long-term durability based on your project and the particular type of space you’re building or renovating.

What Measurements Should I Choose?

Measured in mil, thicker wear layers provide better protection. This can be important in high-traffic spaces. Balancing wear layer thickness versus additional cost can be tough.

Here are a few tips to help you choose vinyl flooring material with the right wear layer measurements:

  • Standard residential spaces: 12-mil or thicker
  • High-traffic residential spaces: 20-mil or thicker
  • Commercial spaces: 28-mil or thicker

Remember that these numbers are just general guidelines. For example, in many homes, luxury vinyl flooring with an 18-mil wear layer will work very well and provide long-term protection. Aim to balance cost with longevity based on your budget and project needs.

What is a Luxury Vinyl Wear Layer Made of?

Luxury vinyl wear layers are typically made of urethane. Mostly clear and colorless, urethane provides protection without impacting the intended look of your luxury vinyl plank or tile flooring.

Some manufacturers may have other formulas for their wear layer that includes other elements. Still, most use urethane with or without additional additives.

Caring for Luxury Vinyl Properly

You’ve chosen a style of luxury vinyl that you love and picked out the perfect wear layer thickness for your home or commercial space. Your material has been installed and your floors look like a million bucks. Now all you need to do is keep them in tip-top shape.

Here are a few tips to help you care for luxury vinyl plank or tile properly:

•   Sweep your floors regularly to keep them dust and debris-free. A vacuum with a soft-bristled head can also make cleaning quick and easy. Avoid using a vacuum with a hard beater bar that can scratch your vinyl flooring.

•   Try cleaning your floors with only warm water. In many cases, this is all they need. There’s no potential for damage with plain water either.

•   Add a splash of regular white vinegar if you need more cleaning power. Diluted white vinegar is safe to use on luxury vinyl flooring and it may help remove stuck-on debris, spots and residue from spills.

•   Go for pH neutral cleaners if you use commercial products. Acidic products can damage your luxury vinyl flooring. Check with your flooring manufacturer or retailer if you’re looking for commercial product suggestions for your home or commercial space.

Deciding on Luxury Vinyl

Understanding the luxury vinyl wear layer can help you make an informed decision when taking on a flooring renovation project in your home or place of business. Still a little unclear on what the right option is for you? Reach out to our trained representatives today so we can help answer your questions about luxury vinyl flooring.

Whether you’re in the planning stages of a renovation, remodel or building project, we can help you get the vinyl flooring you need on-budget and on time. Don’t hesitate to contact us today!